|Press Contact||Caroline Cotto|
Renewal Mill is an award-winning company fighting climate change by upcycling byproducts into crave-worthy food. A leader in the upcycled food space, Renewal Mill turns byproducts into versatile, nutrient-dense ingredients, which are sold to emerging and legacy food brands and used in a branded product line of plant-based pantry staples. Their organic okara flour and oat protein can be found in multiple nationally distributed products, with more launching this fall. Their products can be found in 550+ doors, including Whole Foods, and on online platforms like Thrive Market, Fresh Direct, and Good Eggs. Despite a global pandemic, they rescued over 250,000 pounds of nutrition in the past year.
To elevate upcycled ingredients to their most decadent uses, their product development is led by Alice Medrich, a 5X James Beard Award winning cookbook author and renowned expert on alternative flours. All of their products are plant-based, non-GMO, carbon-neutral, Certified Upcycled, and use Fairtrade chocolate; their flours and baking mixes are also gluten-free.
Renewal Mill's commitment to sustainability extends beyond their upcycling work: they are a public benefit corporation, a member of 1% for the Planet, and are certified plastic negative. Renewal Mill is led by two go-getter women. Caroline, a Fulbright Fellow, is the President of the Upcycled Food Association and Claire was named a Tory Burch Fellow in 2020. Ultimately, their goal at Renewal Mill is to show the world that eating food that’s good for the planet is easy, delicious, and fun.
After founding Boston's first organic juice company, Claire came face-to-face with food waste and the inefficiencies present in our food system. Looking at the piles of organic fruit and vegetable pulp at the end of each day, she felt there had to be a better way to utilize all of the things we grow. Throwing out this pulp (arguably the most nutritious part of the plant!) meant throwing out all of the resources, like water and energy, that had gone into growing it. It also meant that the bit of the produce that was used needed to be sold at a high price point, which meant it wasn't particularly accessible nutrition.
Then Claire had a fortuitous conversation with the owner of a tofu company. The two bonded over their shared struggle with "byproducts". Tofu production produces an incredibly nutrient-dense pulp called okara. The tofu company was operating at such a scale that there was a real opportunity to upcycle okara to feed people rather than have it be thrown out. And so, Renewal Mill was founded.
Their mission is to find places like the tofu factory where delicious nutrition is unnecessarily being wasted in the food system and bring it to market in the form of novel, superfood ingredients and premium, plant-based pantry staples. In doing so, they create more sustainable food and help conserve the planet's precious resources.
Claire Schlemme is an ardent environmentalist who saw a need to fix a broken food system in order to protect the planet. Claire’s lifelong interest in food and nature began to intertwine when she was diagnosed with cancer in her early 20s. This experience made her passionate about understanding the links between food and health, both of our environment and our own bodies. She co-founded Boston’s first organic juice company with the aim to connect local farmers and city-dwellers through nutritious and delicious foods. This experience exposed her to two primary challenges: food waste and the lack of affordable nutrition. Committed to finding solutions at the intersection of food, sustainability, and accessible nutrition, Claire launched Renewal Mill. She also co-founded The Outrage, an online and pop-up feminist marketplace that blended design and activism. Prior to diving into entrepreneurship, Claire was an environmental consultant at Industrial Economics, Inc. in Cambridge, MA. She holds a BA from Wellesley College and a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University.
Caroline Cotto is a food marketing and nutrition specialist with experience at the UN World Food Programme, the White House (for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign), and the tech company HubSpot, where she ran the women’s diversity program globally. Caroline grew up in food, working for her family’s ice cream business in the town of Sandwich, MA. Fascinated by global food culture, Caroline served as a Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan, and she holds a BS from Georgetown University in human science with a focus on nutrition and international health. She also coaches thousands of students through Seth Godin’s global programs, altMBA and the Bootstrapper’s Workshop.
VP of Product Development
Author, pastry chef, and teacher, Alice Medrich is one of the country’s foremost experts on chocolate and chocolate desserts. Since 1976, when her renowned shop, Cocolat, opened and her first dessert feature (of many) appeared in a national publication, Alice’s innovative ideas and recipes and her insistence on quality ingredients have influenced a generation of confectioners, pastry chefs, and home cooks. Since selling her interest in Cocolat in 1989, Alice has become an award-winning cookbook author, receiving three Cookbook of the Year awards from the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals for COCOLAT: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts (Warner Books, 1990), Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts (Warner Books, 1994); and BITTERSWEET: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate (Artisan, 2003). Her latest book, Flavor Flours came out in November 2015 and won the 2015 James Beard Award for Best Baking and Dessert Book.